Quotes

In which I record good quotes.

Any scientific result that can be approximated by an aphorism is ripe for misappropriation.  – Jordan Ellenberg, Does Gödel Matter?

Any sufficiently large program eventually becomes an operating system. – Matt Might, What every computer science major should know

The saddest thing in life is wasted talent, and the choices that you make will shape your life forever. – A Bronx Tale

Mathematics is about how you think about what’s true, following from various axioms. Computing is how you think about how to do things. – Hal Abelson

Don’t ever make the mistake [of thinking] that you can design something better than what you get from ruthless massively parallel trial-and-error with a feedback cycle. That’s giving your intelligence much too much credit. – Linus Torvalds

Nothing is work unless you’d rather be doing something else. – George Halas

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. – C.G. Jung

The unlived life isn’t worth examining. – Sheldon Kopp

A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. – Franz Kafka

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. – George Bernard Shaw

Attitude is no substitute for competence. – Eric Raymond, How To Become A Hacker

You must live life with the full knowledge that your actions will remain. We are creatures of consequence. – Zadie Smith, White Teeth

Being strong-willed is not enough, however. You also have to be hard on yourself. Someone who was strong-willed but self-indulgent would not be called determined. Determination implies your willfulness is balanced by discipline. – Paul Graham

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. – Miles Kington

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. – George Bernard Shaw

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. – Aristotle

Everyone knows what attention is. It is taking possession of the mind, in clear and vivid form, of one out of what seems several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought. Focalization, concentration of consciousness are of its essence. It implies a withdrawal from some things in order to deal effectively with others. – William James

Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.  – William James

Being confused about choices is nothing more than hoping that maybe there is a way to get through life without taking charge. – Meg Jay

Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you don’t know as your financial means, mortgage rates and the currently tight real-estate market allows you to put there. You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menancingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an antilibrary. – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself. – Mark Twain

Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. – Mark Twain

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. – Mark Twain

The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read. – Mark Twain

Everything in your life ends up in your act. –  Aaron Freeman

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living. – Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win. – Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Please forgive the long letter; I didn’t have time to write a short one. – Blaise Pascal

There are some things which cannot be learned quickly, and time, which is all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring. They are the very simplest things and because it takes a man’s life to know them the little that each man gets from life is very costly and the only heritage he has to leave. – Ernest Hemingway

General fiction is pretty much about ways that people get into problems and screw their lives up. Science fiction is about everything else. – Marvin Minsky

Now what good would that have done? They wouldn’t know they’d asked a dumb question, but I didn’t want to insult them, either. So when they’d ask if I’d read all those books, I’d say, ‘Hell, no. Who wants a library full of books you’ve already read? – Harlan Ellison

People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading. – Logan Pearsall Smith

Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them; but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents. – Arthur Schopenhauer

Who was it who said, “I hold the buying of more books than one can peradventure read, as nothing less than the soul’s reaching towards infinity; which is the only thing that raises us above the beasts that perish?” Whoever it was, I agree with him. – A. Edward Newton, A Magnificent Farce And Other Diversions Of A Book Collector

Indecision may or may not be my problem. – Jimmy Buffett

We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment. – Jim Rohn

A man ought to read just as inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good. – Samuel Johnson

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default. – J. K. Rowling

Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t. – Erica Jong

Everything must be made as simple as possible. But not simpler. – Albert Einstein

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious – the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. – Albert Einstein

Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results. – Anon

Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so. – Bertrand Russell

Good books don’t give up all their secrets at once. – Stephen King

Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore? – Henry Ward Beecher

If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. – Toni Morrison

When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes. – Desiderius Erasmus

So many books, so little time. – Frank Zappa